The Pageant may be St. Louis' most lauded new concert hall, but it's the little things that keep life interesting. And the littlest new venue in town is the Tin Ceiling, an intimate room nestled into a corner at Magnolia and Macklind. Like its predecessor there, Centro Sociale, it's a multimedia mecca, with a theater troupe and art shows; if Monday's show is any indication, it's also on the verge of building a reputation for shows too atmospheric to fit into the smoky bars where most local acts play, shows like this triple bill of kindred slowpokes: the Julia Sets, the Potomac Accord (pictured) and the Mouse That Roared.Everyone knows the Julia Sets and their minimalist pop music. New material indicates the band is moving in a less restrained direction; "Domino" may be the Sets' most cheerful number yet, with a brilliant chorus and blissful noise recalling Yo La Tengo.
The Potomac Accord pursues a more introspective direction. The recent Silver Line on a Black Sea stretches seven songs to 65 minutes yet never drags. The songs are rich and spooky, with piano lines that repeat with disturbing insistence and vocals that range from warbling to murmurs. At times, the Potomac Accord feints at the pulsing melodies of Sigur Rs while hinting at the tension of Slint. Although that might not fly at your local watering hole, it does seem to fit the blackened interior of this welcome upstart quite nicely.
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